2010 March 22

This is the time of year that many of us look forward to a couple of weeks in the sun – if the airlines, baggage handlers and trains aren’t on strike!

Assuming we manage to get to our destination, what should we have packed to make sure we don’t have a clothing meltdown during the Easter holiday?

You’re almost certainly heading for a region famous for sunshine, great beaches and warm nights, so you need to be prepared but pack as lightly as you can, as every gram will count towards excess baggage if you’re flying.

Ensure that you put your daily toiletries and at least one change of clothes, plus swimwear, plus evening wear in your carry-on or overnight bag. This means that if your luggage is delayed (or even worse, lost) you can spend the first day and night of your holiday enjoying yourself while working with the carrier or holiday representative to sort out compensation or delivery of your togs. The items you should carry are: a spare T-shirt and comfortable shorts or jog pants which can double as sleepwear if necessary, a swimming costume for women or trunks for men, a smart polo-shirt for men and a simple lightweight dress for women. This means you can go to the pool and dine out without having to wear your creased and tired day clothes. It also means you have a chance to launder some of your clothes while you wait for the rest to arrive.

A lightweight jacket will protect you from unseasonable spring rains, and that, along with several pairs of shorts or casual trousers, half-a-dozen T-shirt, a formal shirt in case you’re invited somewhere really posh, and underwear, will serve most men. Women will need to consider adding a couple of pairs of lightweight trousers to wear when sightseeing in the day so as to avoid causing offence in some cultures, as well as looking good with pretty camisole tops under jackets at night.  Similarly short crush-proof dresses are great for the pool and can double up with T-shirts in the evening when it gets cooler. One formal dress is necessary for visits to casinos or posh restaurants and you might want a good telescopic umbrella, just in case of heavy rain.

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